In a moment of weakness I decided to watch the NBC Pro Bowl telecast from Hawaii…although I must admit I had the Grammy Awards telecast from CBS as my back…
Lo and behold, our own Shaggy— QB Nick Foles— entered the game in the 4th quarter and won the game's offensive MVP award, which included a brand new GMC SUV…. Good
Foles finished 7/10 for for 89 yards and a touchdown for "Team Sanders", which was named after team captain Deion Sanders. Foles got the MVP despite his team losing the game, 22-21, to "Team Rice" (named after Jerry Rice).
After coming in to start the fourth quarter with the game tied, Foles looked like he was going to lead them to the win.
On his second series of the game, Foles led Team Sanders right down the field, capping off a five play, 57-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cleveland Brown's tight end Jordan Cameron. The touchdown gave his team a 21-14 lead with just over four minutes remaining — a lead they would eventually give up.
Yes, I know, Foles was calling a basic 5-play offense and there was no significant defensive pressure on him— that's the way the Pro Bowl goes— but it was nice to see an Eagle win a trophy, no matter how trivial it might be.
Foles' MVP win certainly rubbed NFL-TV analyst and former player Heath Evans the wrong way.
Before the season even started, Evans wrote that he thought the hiring of Kelly could be the NFL's "worst ever." Speaking on 94WIP the other day, Evans backed off from those remarks a little, saying there was a misunderstanding.
Even after that, however, Evans continued to defend his stance on Kelly as a head coach in the NFL.
“I’m still not sold on the long term validity of what he is doing,” Evans said of Kelly.
Evans then continued to imply Eagles' fans should be very worried about the future with Kelly at the helm.
“Long story short, one year of success, I don’t call that succcess,” Evans said. “What success is, you’ve got to build on what you’ve done, so I would still say there are some some flaws, some major flaws, in the protection system. I don’t want to say Chip got away with it this year, I just think we’re going to see just how good this guy really is. Because there’s things you see, you know I sit down with coaches that I respect, and we still think alike in the areas that he still has to grow in the NFL knowledge of the game.”
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Evans certainly has his — and is sticking to it.
Look, no one has been harder on Nick Foles than I in the past, so Heath Evans has a long way to go to match myself as a nattering nabob of negativity.
But my negativity had the intent of coaching up Nick Foles for as long as the Eagles were willing to stick with him in a starter's role. Foles has responded to the constructive criticism from his own coaches and has improved his game immensely. He also reads this column and our Bored comments, and has emailed his intentions to the EYE that he appreciates the critical analysis and the support equally. The kid is a class act.
But the difference between my criticism of Foles 1.0 and Heath Evans' criticism of the Chippah is this— I want Foles to succeed, whereas Evans seems to have a death wish (career-wise) for Kelly.
I've had an open mind regarding Chip Kelly ever since he got here. I've thought from the beginning of his tenure here in Philly, the worst that can happen is he will end up a respected offensive coordinator in somebody's system within the next 5 years. The best that would happen is he will consolidate a productive Eagles offense and hire the right people to build an intimidating Eagles defense, all within the next three years.
I don't get Evans' hard-on against Kelly. I would like to know if there is something personal going on there.
No matter. The upcoming NFL Draft and free agency season will take the spotlight away from Heath Evans and put it back squarely where it belongs—upon the decision-making and leadership of the Chippah and his G.M. sidekick, Howie (Tonto) Roseman.
Maybe even more importantly, Eagles' personnel genius Tom Gamble did not take the Miami Dolphins G.M. job that was dangled before him. He elected to stay with Kelly and Roseman. That non-move in itself speaks volumes about the credibility Chip Kelly has established in the Eagles organization.